A box containing a dead wallaby and her joey and a high-powered rifle were two signs this meeting of 20 farmers in Tarris today had no sympathy for an Australian icon regarded as a pest in New Zealand.

The biggest wallaby population is just north of the Waitaki River but since 2008, 140 wallabies have been shot over a wide area south of the Waitaki.

It's hoped a three-year trial of thermal imaging equipment beginning in July will make the hunters' job easier.

Environment Canterbury Biosecurity Team Leader Brent Glentworth told the meeting wallabies are difficult to eradicate as they are nocturnal, secretive and solitary.


It's hoped thermal imaging sights which can pick up animals at a range of more than 800 metres prove themselves effective.

Wallabies have been found as far south as Lawrence, and a government study has suggested if they are left unchecked they could be costing the country $83 million a year in 10 years.

Video by Mark Price for The South Today with the support of New Zealand On Air.